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05-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
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Is k5 good enough for journalist?

6/9/2011: I just got my k-5...Finally....Yeah...


I am currently doing a photography intern for a magazine.

My gear is kx+16-50+50-135+540fgz.

I am going to upgrade to k5....

However....my friends and people online suggest me change system to nikon. They said nikon is for work, pentax is for hobby.

They said pentax auto-focus is too slow for journalist. and the nikon brand is just much more reliable and trusty. they said many company only want photographyer using either canon or nikon. damn, is this true???

any thought. I do not know what to do now...

first I do not have money go to full-frame. so even I switch to nikon, the body would be d7000. and I find nikon zoom lens is very expensive...I do not think I have that money now.
but think about future. I really worry if pentax is the right choice...


Last edited by liukaitc; 06-09-2011 at 06:51 AM.
05-30-2011, 06:49 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
I am currently doing a photography intern for a magazine.

My gear is kx+16-50+50-135+540fgz.

I am going to upgrade to k5....

However....my friends and people online suggest me change system to nikon. They said nikon is for work, pentax is for hobby.

They said pentax auto-focus is too slow for journalist. and the nikon brand is just much more reliable and trusty. they said many company only want photographyer using either canon or nikon. damn, is this true???

any thought. I do not know what to do now...

first I do not have money go to full-frame. so even I switch to nikon, the body would be d7000. and I find nikon zoom lens is very expensive...I do not think I have that money now.
but think about future. I really worry if pentax is the right choice...
Companies want a photographer who can turn in consistant, solid results. They don't care how you do it. If you can't do that with Pentax (broken camera, no backup/broken lens, no way to borrow/slow af/whatever) then they won't want you. If you can do that with Pentax, then you're fine.
05-30-2011, 06:50 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Full frame is better. That said, it's the photographer and the lenses, not the camera that matters. While fast autofocus would be better, it's not necessary. Photo journalism existed before auto focus was even invented.

As for the comment that many companies only want someone with a Nikon or Canon, that part is sadly true. But those are companies that you wouldn't want to work for. Real photographers know that brand doesn't matter.
05-30-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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I think that in the short term, the Pentax K5 should work out for you. You have the lens and the K5 should hold up.

I have seen a Stratford, Ontario newspaper writer use just a small Fuji S700 bridge camera as their camera for paper pictures. Larger papers will more then likely be using Nikon or Canan gear. At that point, you will need to start using what the other people are using.

Until that point, I think that your Pentax work out for you. Just my two cents worth.

05-30-2011, 06:59 PM   #5
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Speed Test...

I think your able to do the job with any camera. I have your same set-up, k-x with 16-50 and 50-135 2.8 Even though the are not the fastest speed the K5 does make them a little faster. The K5 looks like a dream. The 7 fps and improved AF speed.

Buy it and test it out and give it a try and if you don't like it return it.

Ever think about going wide?? Like the Pentax DA 12-24 f4 if your worried about full-frame.
05-30-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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You can do photojournalism quite effectively with a K-5. It's a very capable tool.
As mentioned, even better would be a FF camera like a D700 or 5DMkII (if you can get over the quirky user interface). You're looking at a very large increase in cost for a change of system, but if you want the extra benefits, you'd pay for it.

Nevertheless, the K-5 is one camera that I believe is not just a hobbyist's camera, it is definitely a workhorse - more so than its predecessor flagships that were also suitable for professional gigs.
05-30-2011, 07:31 PM   #7
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K-5 is totally capable for Journalism.
05-30-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
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K20 and K5 are Good Enough

I shoot pro-bono for a local on-line publication. I've used K20's and now a K5, soon to be two. A long experienced Raleigh photojournalist I know shoots Canon ( I think) because that's what the paper gives her. She has no idea what stuff costs, its a tool.

What we do have in common is go early, stay late, shoot manual mode and think. See what the story is. Respect people. Its great training to have to adapt and deliver results no matter what. All the knees on your pants will get worn.

Just about any DSLR you can buy, if used thoughtfully, will provide okay news photos. I always use two bodies, usually a 12-24 on one and a 28-75 or 50-135 on the other. A story on "Read and Feed" was shot at night in a converted motor home full of kids. High ISO and 12-24. A local park built for handicapped kids in midday sun needed fill flash from one of my 540's.

The K20 and K5 are good for bad weather. If its really ugly go to supermarket & buy turkey bags plus carry some heavy duty rubber bands.

Have spares for everything. Forget lens caps. I rely on hoods, most use filters. Unless there is a big greasy fingerprint, the picture will be fine.

Here's a link to Web Jpegs I post for my editor to choose from:

Collection: CaryCitizen.com

05-30-2011, 08:40 PM   #9
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No need for FF

I see no reason to worry about going full frame for almost any newspaper or magazine journalism assignment. Crop sensors can do magazine double truck photos with no strain.

If you plan to do freelance magazine work, you can use any kind of equipment that helps you make compelling images. No editor cares what kind of camera produced the photo.

If you're planning to work for most daily newspapers, though, you're going to have to shoot sports. Pentax AF may not suit you as well as Canon or Nikon will.

And, since most newspaper photographers shoot Canon or Nikon (some, of course, also shoot Leica, mostly as a special occasion camera), choosing one of those brands means you can borrow equipment from your colleagues.

In 35 years as a newspaper reporter I have not once encountered a newspaper photographer using a Pentax camera, though they often have admired my LX or K-7 when I carry my own camera along for fun. A Canon and Leica-shooting photo editor just told me he may buy a K-5, in fact, for his own use.
05-30-2011, 08:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PeteyJ Quote
Full frame is better. That said, it's the photographer and the lenses, not the camera that matters. While fast autofocus would be better, it's not necessary. Photo journalism existed before auto focus was even invented.

As for the comment that many companies only want someone with a Nikon or Canon, that part is sadly true. But those are companies that you wouldn't want to work for. Real photographers know that brand doesn't matter.
You started off by saying full frame is better. But thankfully the rest of your post went on to contradict that.
05-30-2011, 08:49 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote

However....my friends and people online suggest me change system to nikon. They said nikon is for work, pentax is for hobby.
Your "friends" and "people online" are sheep and cannot think for themselves.

It's lazy and doesn't exercise the mind to just follow the herd.

Plenty of people use Pentax equipment professionally. They thought for themselves.
05-30-2011, 09:01 PM   #12
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Yeah thanks. the pic quality of kx is great. it just the auto-focus sucks. miss a lot of shot, i find rely on manual focus is better.........
hope the k5 is much better..
05-30-2011, 09:04 PM   #13
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Whatever you choose, Pentax or Canon or Nikon, get two of them. Malfunctioning equipment is no excuse for not getting the shot.

Until recently, I've shot with a Pentax K20d + DA* 16-50 and a K-x + DA* 50-135 along with a Metz AF-1 58 flash. I usually had a fistful of primes in the bags as well (21, 40, 70) just in case one of the zooms packed it in. My only single point of failure was the flash; knowing the K-x could shout print-worthy ISO3200 made me confident that even a busted flash wouldn't stop me.

The K20d was very good except of the AF. The K-x was very good except for the lack of two e-dials.

For photojournalism, having 2 bodies is much more mission critical than FF or the name on the body.

Some examples:

K-x with DA* 50-135, ISO1000:



K-x with DA* 50-135, ISO1600:



K-x with DA* 50-135, ISO2500:



K20d with DA70 F2.4 Limited, ISO2500



K20d with DA* 16-50, ISO1600:

05-30-2011, 09:45 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
You started off by saying full frame is better. But thankfully the rest of your post went on to contradict that.
Well full frame is better. But better isn't always necessary, especially when it comes to camera bodies. Any mid to high range camera made in the last 4 or 5 years will take professional quality photos as long as there's a capable photographer behind it, and some decent glass attached to it.
05-30-2011, 10:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
However....my friends and people online suggest me change system to nikon. They said nikon is for work, pentax is for hobby.
Take that advice.
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